October 16th – The Earlier Birder Gets the Bird

The early birder gets the bird - an American Woodcock that flew into net 1A just shortly after it was opened.

It was another interesting day – lots of bird movement in the teeth of unsettled weather: brisk SW winds, overcast skies, and intermittent light showers. Again, we didn’t open all the nets as several would simply be billowed out most of the time; we had 16 of the 23 open though and a number of ground traps.

Myrtle Warblers seemed to be continually on the move, working their way through the goldenrod in the Butterfly Meadow or hopping through the treetops. Quite a few though (55) ended up in the nets -especially Nets 5 & 6. I’m not sure what these birds find so attractive about this area of the grounds but we’ve caught a very large number of them in these 2 nets in the past week. What is quite noticeable is the decrease in the diversity of birds that are around. Most warblers and other long-distance migrants are long gone.

Faye using calipers (that, evidently, her dad taught her to use many years ago), measuring the "exposed culmen" of the AMWO.

Very early this morning – proving that the early birder gets the bird – we retrieved an American Woodcock out of net 1A just shortly after it was opened. It’s only the 5th one we’ve banded in the Fall since 1995. Later, we saw the first Common Loons of the Fall fly over, indicating that Winter is coming to the north…..it’s time to go.

Eric, Rita, Bev, and Faye shifting Net 1 to the brushpiles, where it will become Net 3.

There are two big brush piles just to the west of the garage. A lot of sparrows and juncos are using these piles as a refuge from which they make feeding forays to the area of the nearby ground traps. Since net 1 hasn’t been catching much at all I decided to move it to the area between the piles – Net 3. We’ve had a net in this area before but not consistently from one year to the next.

The "new" Net 3.

Banded 77:
1 American Woodcock
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
55 Myrtle Warblers
3 Chipping Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos

Female Eastern Bluebird....and Ben.

Retrapped 33:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
5 Myrtle Warblers
6 Chipping Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
4 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 House Finches
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 39 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 78

Some photos taken by yours truly under the tutelage of Rita Bauer:

Dark-eyed Junco with a gray iris - characteristic of a young or HY (Hatch Year) bird.

Erich with a Blue Jay he's just banded.

Enthusiastic visitors.

Doris Southwell came to Ruthven today to celebrate the anniversary of her 39th birthday. (Note the muffin...)


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